Hiroshima, August 6, 1945
Truly a turning point in the history of man with the ushering in of the nuclear age. Fortunately, it hasn’t been used again, but we’ve lived under the threat of nuclear “mutual self destruction” since then. Through the cold war to the bullying threats of North Korea and Iran, it stays in the back of our minds that the splitting of the atom is either an environmentally useful source of energy or a terrible weapon.
While many died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki (the second bomb did not strike it’s intended target so casualties were less than the first bomb), historians agree that it saved civilian lives by stopping the invasion of Japan by the Allied forces from fighting an extended battle. The Japanese have a proud history of being great warriors going back to the times of the Samurai, so giving up was not in the battle plan. Their will to perservere had to be broken or the invasion was inevitable.
I ran across an archive of the story dated August 7, 1945 from the Orlando Sentinel when going through my father’s archives, which even then didn’t describe the magnitude due to the secrecy of this project. We had to hide the development from our enemy and use our ingenuity to create it before Hitler had the weapon, our then greatest fear.It’s a good thing the NY Times didn’t know about it and publish the story prior to attack. Interesting that it describes the target as an Army city.
It is known that the fuse for the bomb fuse was radio proximity technology, which my father helped develop during the war.